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Teen speaks out about moment needlefish speared him in the neck

By New York Post

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Idul’s grisly fishing souvenir

(NEW YORK POST) – He survived being speared in the neck by a needlefish — and can’t wait to get back to fishing.

A smiling Muhammad Idul, 16, opened up about the freak accident that left the nearly 30-inch fish’s razor-sharp snout sticking through the left side of his neck earlier this week.

“I just need to be more careful next time,” Muhammad told BBC Indonesia Friday. “Needlefish can’t tolerate light. That was why it jumped out of the water and stabbed me.”

The plucky teen said he was out on a late-night fishing trip with his friend Sardi when the fish suddenly sprang out from the waters off Wakinamboro village in southern Indonesia.

“Sardi’s boat sailed off first, and I went later in another boat,” Muhammad told the BBC. “About 500 meters off the beach, Sardi turned on the flashlight. A needlefish suddenly jumped out of the water and stabbed my neck.”

The impact sent Muhammad flying off the boat and into the water as the slim, silvery fish continued to flail while lodged in his neck.

The teen grabbed the fish, held on tight and asked Sardi for help.

“He stopped me from trying to remove the fish to prevent bleeding,” Muhammad recalled.

The two pals swam back to the beach — with the fish still stuck in Muhammad’s neck — and the victim was rushed to a local hospital.

There, doctors cut the fish’s body off but they were unable to remove its head because of lack of equipment.

Muhammad’s father rushed him to the Wahidin Sudirohusodo Hospital in Makassar, where five surgeons carefully removed the creature in a first-of-its-kind procedure.

Hospital director Khalid Saleh said Muhammad — who is unable to move his neck to the right but was all smiles during the BBC interview — may not be going home anytime soon.

“We’re monitoring his condition. He might be discharged in a few days but he can’t go back to his village yet because he needs more checkups,” Saleh said.

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